Reading is Fundamental

Back in the 70′s and 80′s when I was a kid, there was a program out called RIF, reading is fundamental.  I guess the program is still around today, but I remember the cheesy commercials/PSA’s to this day.  I was always a reader as a kid, breezing through book after book above the level of most classmates, not that I’m bragging, but I just don’t remember anyone else getting through the Aasimov Robot series in junior high.  Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that even though I don’t take the time to read full books as much as I may like these days (aside from the occasional marathon reading like on the day the latest Harry Potter book was released) I do try to spend time reading news and programming blogs.  In the news, it’s important to keep up with what’s going on in the world around you (and not just the tabloid type rubbish), and in the programming world, it’s just as important.  It may not seem like it to the outside observer, but people are coming up with stellar new things every day.

Most people may think that programming blogs are dry and boring, and they probably are, but to me, most Coldfusion blogs are pretty exciting.  Every morning I scan a Coldfusion blog aggregator for the latest and greatest headlines of the day, which keeps me up to date on important things like hotfixes, security holes and new releases of apps that I may use, or just a new way of tackling interactive website apps.  Some may think it’s a waste of my time, but I have to disagree, I don’t think there’s anything more important than improving knowledgebase while making sure that the services we provide are the best that they can be.  Most of the time I don’t actually read into the articles much unless there’s something that catches my eye, usually something that I’m working on or expecting to be working on, or even something we did in the past that may have a new twist.  This morning’s scan showed a few blogs about the latest Coldfusion hotfix, which I was then able to install promptly that fixed a few items that I’d noticed being a bit weird (how exactly do we serve negative pages per second?) and especially a memory leak fix for CFCs which could be the reason we were using more memory on one of our servers than I’d ever thought possible.  Thus my morning hot topic scan prevented possible issues down the road with the holidays coming up and our traffic increasing to new heights on those ecommerce sites.  Nothing like 5 minutes of reading to save hours of potential problems in the future.  I guess maybe it’s one of those ‘stitch in time saves nine’ or ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.